DENVER – Rookie Taylor Hall had a goal and an assist and goalie Devan Dubnyk made 38 saves, leading the Edmonton Oilers past the Colorado Avalanche 5-1 on Wednesday night.
The game got off to a rough start when Ryan O'Byrne, an Avalanche defenseman, had his face slashed by the blade of a passing skater as he skated low behind the net some four minutes after the first puck was dropped.
Bleeding badly from the cut, O'Byrne nevertheless managed to skate off the ice and was escorted into the locker room for initial treatment before being taken to a nearby hospital.
Edmonton struck first, getting a power-play goal from Dustin Penner on a wrist shot at 14:17 of the first period that got past Brian Elliott.
Elliott was making his first start in net since being acquired by Colorado on Friday from Ottawa in exchange for goalie Craig Anderson. A native of Canada, Elliott had to resolve visa and immigration issues before joining the Avalanche.
The night got tougher for Elliott as the game moved on.
The Oilers moved in front 3-0 on a goal by Sam Gagner and a second power-play play score, this one by Hall, who tipped in a shot from the middle of the circle by Jordan Eberle.
Soon after having a goal waved off by officials — the play had been blown dead before Paul Statsny could put the puck in the net — the Avalanche finally got on the board at 17:36 of the second on a wrist shot by Milan Hejduk.
But the Oilers added third-period goals by Eberle and Kurtis Foster to quash any thoughts of a comeback bid by the Avalanche.
NOTES: The injury-filled Avalanche have had only one player appear in all 61 games: defenseman John-Michael Liles. ... Liles had his 200th career assist on Hejduk's second-period goal, joining Adam Foote (203) as the only defensemen in franchise history to reach the milestone. ... Edmonton's Tom Gilbert and Andrew Cogliano played in their 315th and 307th consecutive games, respectively. Both are four seasons into their NHL careers and neither has missed a game. ... Both teams were playing the second game of a back-to-back. ... Colorado had just snapped a 10-game winless streak the night before with a victory at St. Louis.